Stern was referring to Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), who earlier this week said he would oppose any bill that expands Medicare to people ages 55 to 64— an idea that the SEIU supports. Other senators have said they would oppose the bill if certain aspects they don't support are included.
In a letter to SEIU members, Stern challenged President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders fight for reform promises made during the presidential campaign. But on the call with reporters, Stern praised Obama for sticking with healthcare as a top policy issue. “My sense is the president is doing everything he can do,” Stern said.
Stern seemed to pin his hopes that some of the union's objectives could be achieved in conference committee, which will resolve the different House and Senate versions once the Senate passes a bill. He said he prefers the House bill over the Senate version.
Stern said the president could be an important voice as the House and Senate negotiate. “We need his personal involvement,” Stern said.
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